Tag: Bridget Jones’ Diary

Shere….Surrey’s prettiest village?

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Do you recall the closing scenes of Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason when Bridget’s parents get married (for the second time) at a beautiful village church? Or perhaps you might remember The Holiday with Kate Winslett who lives in a snow-covered pretty village and does a house swap with Cameron Diaz? Well, both films were partly filmed in Shere which sits between the towns of Dorking and Guildford in the Surrey Hills and it’s clear to see why the location managers saw this village as being quintessentially English. It’s mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086, it has a stunning Norman church (St. James’) and the River Tillingbourne runs through its centre.

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Part of being a mum is providing taxi service for soooo many years and with one of my children at a 2 hour meeting this evening, I thought I’d head over the Shere whilst waiting for him, make some progress on my bucket list and make the most of this glorious spring evening. And it is so gorgeous with timber houses, a couple of pretty pubs including The White Horse which is featured in The Holiday and there’s even a free car park just a very short distance from the village centre. Unfortunately, few people seem to use this car park and instead claim every space possible in the village centre making it hard to get some photos free of cars. But, nonetheless, it is ever so cute and well worth a visit if you love a British rom-com! In fact, my parents happened to go to Shere during filming for The Holiday and saw it being sprayed with fake snow but didn’t know why!

 

And as I mentioned the other day, I was so surprised to find out that Kate Winslett’s home ‘Rosehill Cottage’ in The Holiday isn’t even real! The exterior, including the pretty stone wall, was built, used and dismantled all within 2 weeks so anyone going along to look for this pretty home will be faced with just a field!

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If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might recall that I went to another village in England last summer which is often regarded as one of THE prettiest in the whole of the country….Castle Combe which is in the Cotswolds and has been used in many films. So, if you’re coming to England and REALLY want to see English villages at their best, I can’t recommend Castle Combe highly enough! Check out this link here!

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So, I’ve got one more filming location to go to and then I can tick off this challenge from my bucket list. I feel like I’m really getting there now and, with my road trip starting in just 22 days’ time and a mini cruise, May is going to be a brilliant month!

Bridget Jones filming locations in London

There’s little I like more than spending a quiet evening in with pjs on, curtains closed, phone switched off and and a British rom-com on. Sometimes, these films have story lines that you can identify with but often it’s that inevitable girl-meets-boy plot about will they or won’t they live happily ever after. So, after my recent action-packed journey to London where I found some filming locations for some of my favourite films, I thought I’d share a bit of information with you in case you too would like to check them out. Today’s film? Bridget Jones.

The film Bridget Jones features Renee Zellweger playing the title role but it actually started as a regular column in The Independent newspaper in 1995. Helen Fielding wrote about the trials and tribulations of a 30-something year old dealing with the complexities of life and love. And she has the most innocent charm and the ability to make some terrible faux pas that perhaps we’ve made too. From these columns, the novel was published by 1996 and then the film followed just a few years later in 2001. As I’m sure you’ll know, Renee is actually American but I was fooled by her received pronunciation which was as a result of working with acclaimed voice coach Barbara Berkery. You might not have heard of Barbara but she helped Lindsay Lohan sound very British in the remake of the Parent Trap and for a number of Gwyneth Paltrow films such as Sliding Doors. With first person narrative that gives insight into Bridget’s mind, the story begins:

It all began on New Years day, in my 32nd year of being single. Once again I found myself on my own and going to my mother’s annual turkey curry buffet. Every year she tries to fix me up with some bushy-haired, middle-aged bore, and I feared this year would be no exception.

There are many scenes from Bridget Jones that were filmed in London. The first one I headed to was Bridget’s flat which is at the The Globe Tavern on Bedale Street and just a few minutes’ walk from London Bridge. It’s right by Borough Market that sells every conceivable food and that was used for the scene when she drags her Christmas tree back to her flat in the latest film Bridget Jones’ Baby.

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The fight scene in the Greek restaurant between Daniel (played by Hugh Grant) and Mark (played by Colin Firth) was actually unchoreographed. In a 2013 interview, Colin described how he thought: 

Guys, the last fight we had was when we were 7 in a playground and whatever fight we have now is probably going to look exactly like that!

Hugh and Colin did all the fight scenes insurance issues prevented them from actually hurling themselves through the window of the restaurant! That was a time to call in the stuntmen. And where was this scene filmed? Just opposite Bridget’s flat on Bedale Street called ‘Bedales of Borough Market’, which is a wine merchants.

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North of the River Thames close to the stunning Leadenhall Market and Sky Garden, you’ll find Royal Exchange Buildings on Cornhill. This is the final scene of the original film where Bridget thinks that she’s blown her chance of love with Mark and she goes chasing after him to explain everything. However, he comes out of a shop with a brand new diary suggesting a new diary means a new start. And, yes, this is the snowy scene where she’s forgotten to put on her skirt! But the scene was actually filmed in April which snow machines doing a fabulous job tricking us to believe that it really was Christmas!

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One filming location outside of London that I’d love to go to is Snowshill  which is a beautiful village in the Cotswolds where Bridget and Mark meet for the first time at her mother’s annual turkey curry buffet where everything is cooked in miniature!

My mum, a strange creature from the time when gherkins were still the height of sophistication

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So, just a few scenes from Bridget Jones that I went to but tomorrow’s film? Sliding Doors

Castle Combe, Arlington Row and Roman Baths……a rather busy day!

Following on from my visit to the incredible Salisbury Cathedral, I ventured over to the Westbury White Horse. Thirteen horses were carved into Wiltshire’s chalky hills although not all can be seen as clearly as others but the one in Wesbury is meant to be the clearest. There were several people paragliding over the horse which must have provided the most spectacular view!

I then continued to Castle Combe in the Cotswolds. My pictures don’t do it justice but it’s regularly listed as one of England’s prettiest villages and is often used in TV programmes and films. Definitely worth a visit.  Just outside of Castle Combe, I went through TiddleyWink……a hamlet of about 4 houses which made me chuckle! I also visited Bilbury where you can find Arlington Row that dates back to 1380. You’ll find a picture of it inside your passport and you might even recognise it from Bridget Jones’ Diary.

And then off to the Roman Baths. Wow! It’s somewhere I’d wanted to visit for some time and in the summer months, its opening hours are extended to 10pm. One of the employees was dressed up as a Roman and when I asked if I could take his photo, I could tell that I probably wasn’t the first person to have asked him that day! Bath is a great city …..lively but great! Definitely somewhere to go back to another time.

So, a few things ticked off my ’50 things to do before I turn 50′ list which I’ll update on here in just a moment.